Summary: The pathogenic events that precede salpingitis in the human fallopian tube have not been fully described. We used a model of human fallopian tubes in organ culture (HFTOC) infected with strain E/UW-5/CX of to study these events. The model supported sustained infection as demonstrated by recovery of viable from medium and tissue over 5-7 d. However, the level of infectivity was low. Maximal infection occurred at 72 h after initial inoculation. In contrast to gonococcal infection of the HFTOC, did not damage overall ciliary function of HFTOC. However, a local direct cytotoxic effect characterized by loss of microvilli and disruption of cell junctions was noted when multiple chlamydial elementary bodies attached to mucosal cells. Beginning at 24 h, and continuing throughout the course of infection of HFTOC, ruptured epithelial cells releasing elementary bodies were noted. Chlamydial inclusions were seen in the mucosa by 72 h in.6% of both ciliated and nonciliated epithelial cells. Mucosal inclusions contained all forms of the developmental cycle. These data suggest that factors present in the human fallopian tube may limit susceptibility to chlamydial infection but support the use of the HFTOC model in the study of the pathogenesis of salpingitis.


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